The Issue or Lack Thereof on Music Piracy

Ever since the rise and fall of Napster, piracy on digital media has emerged as a main way that consumers consume media. Many advocates pose the question whether or not this is really piracy. When it comes to file sharing and piracy, the industry, of course hates it. However, there is a split between consumers and even artists on whether or not it is bad for the industry. Yes, music sales, since the advent of Napster, have steadily declined each and every year. But, are they really in as much trouble as they say they are? Just as people and artists are split on whether or not file-sharing is bad for the industry, they are also split on whether or not the industry is in trouble or not.

When it comes to the issues of money, the music industry, as a whole, claims that they are hurting the most. This may be true as they are losing out the most. However, as CDs have sold less, it seems concerts have become greater in price. Shows still sell out. Yes the have declined in profits, but have they really declined so far as to greatly affect the lifestyles of their executives, probably not. The industry seems to be greedy and wants to make the same money they were ten years ago, with the same business plan, in a world of constant business evolution. When it comes to the artists, some actually like the fact that their music can potentially reach a greater audience than just the people who buy their CDs. Radiohead comes to mind as a group with this mindset.

However, there are also artists like Weird Al Yankovic who do not like people downloading their music, as addressed in the song “Don’t Download This Song.”

So is file-sharing bad for the music industry? As Radiohead said in the video above, they think it’s great that their music can reach a wider range of audience through downloading and as a musician that is what they want. They actually feel like it is good for the music industry. Some people think that the music industry makes a big deal out of piracy because they want the general population to help protect their profits. With the issues of profit, the possibility of overblown piracy numbers is also brought up. Some sources actually say that piracy should most affect digital sales but if fact, digital sales couldn’t be better. Some critics say that the industry should just stop blaming piracy and come up with a new business plan. These examples all show that despite the fact that file sharing or piracy has been around for about a decade now, people are still very torn between whether or not it is hurting the industry.



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